Following a run of bold singles, R.A.E returns with new EP ‘Listen Up’ – and indeed you should. The singer, rapper and songwriter’s contemporary 90s aesthetic already stands out among the current crop of UK talent, and this new body of work further showcases her artistic range, ‘Listen Up’ features moments of genuine humour alongside romantic ballads and the exploration of some more serious issues, all tied together by her unique tone.
R.A.E gave us a taste of the EP with opening cut ‘The Coolest’ last month with a quirky video directed by Ibrahim Kamara and Shenell Kennedy that sees R.A.E play three different characters; adorable high school geek Sally Risers, MC Slapyourdad, and Dali-G, fitted in a blinding yellow tracksuit and shades to match.
The vocals on the hook of ‘Not Your Love’ exude a humble confidence that only a character like R.A.E can deliver. She raps, “Past disrespect because you be troubling my conscious / Give you the finger when your presence is amongst us,” convincing us to move on to bigger and better things. It’s a mood that continues following cheeky skit ‘You Can’t Sing’ into ‘Like This’, the only track without a rap verse., on which R.A.E recognises her growing success as an artist over a beat with subtler production.
The gear entirely shifts on the altogether punchier ‘Listen Up,’ on which we hear R.A.E get fired up and channel her energy into some more overtly political messages, before rounding off ‘Summer Love,’ a dreamy reminder of the good times we could have had if 2020 hadn’t had other ideas. Executively produced by YKKUB, this latest release shows R.A.E’s growth and bright potential. ‘Listen Up’ demands more attention from the scene, so stream below via Soundcloud.